Formaldehyde in Keratin – The Truth

Formaldehyde in KeratinFormaldehyde in Keratin hair treatments. The subject is causing controversy in United States and all over the world, as more leading brands of hair straighteners are exposed to contain dangerous chemicals.

Luckily genuine Brazilian Keratin treatments, like Zene Progress and Tutanat are both 100% Formaldehyde-free. Because, here in Brazil, the use of Formaldehyde in Keratin treatments was banned in 2007, making them the safest (and best) hair straightening products in the world.

Using Formaldehyde in Keratin Treatments has really let the industry down

Formaldehdye in Keratin TreatmentsAnd it’s completely unneccersary, because there are safer aternatives to using Formaldehyde in Keratin products, it’s just that they are expensive and require a more sophisticated manufacturing process. So to keep costs as low as possible, some producers – mostly in the USA and China – have resorted to adding Formaldehyde, and other potentially harmful chemicals to their formulas.

Fortunately, most of these products have been withdrawn from sale in United States as the industry seeks to clean itself up.

Plenty’s already been said about the ethical attitude of companies who include Formaldehyde in Keratin treatments, especially the ones who promote themselves as being ‘Formaldehyde-free’, and in some cases even ‘Brazilian’.

It’s easy to blame the brands themselves for misleading their buyers, and for sure they were wrong, but where’s the legislation?

As a European, living in Brazil it just seems so strange that companies in America, and let’s be honest that’s where most of the offenders are based, are free to set up shop, create a potentially very harmful product and bring it to market, without ever having to submit it to any form of regulation or testing.

It simply couldn’t happen here, or in my native UK, because the authorities would never allow it.

No Formaldehyde in Keratin Hair Treatments from Brazil – Guaranteed

In Brazil all products have to be tested and passed safe by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (ANVISA). As far as I know it’s the same across Europe.

Luckily, buying a genuine Brazilian Keratin Blowout product means a guarantee of no Formaldehyde. (By which I mean, a product from Brazil. Because like I said, its use was outlawed back in 2007)

The government here is very protective of consumers, and with hair straightening such big business in this hot and humid country, companies have spent millions developing new Brazilian straightening treatments, that are both safe and effective.

Without doubt the Formaldehyde in Keratin scandal has hurt the industry.

As someone who eats, sleeps and breathes hair products for a living – as a writer, retailer and business owner – I’ve come into contact with plenty of independent stylists, salon owners and of course at home users of Keratin hair straightening treatments, in search of Formaldehyde free Keratin treatments to use.

It’s really bad that so many have been misled and sold products that may have damaged their health and endangered their clients. But as far as I’m concerned, the real scandal is that apparently the American authorities have been aware of the dangers for some time, but refused to act.

Personally speaking, I’ve been banging on about this for at least 4 years, since becoming aware of the matter, via an article I read in Glamour magazine, and that was back in 2007. Since then the blogosphere has been full of rumours, so why was it only last year, after the independent testing of a well known product, that the scandal was picked up by authorities.

I’m really interested to hear what everyone thinks about this subject, because to me it’s horrific.

• Check out our Formaldehyde-Free Brazilian Straightening Treatments here

I’ve gone a bit off subject I know, but the use of Formaldehyde in Keratin treatments is something that’s really made me angry, simply because it’s impacted on the business of so many independent stylists, who are now struggling to win back lost clients who no longer trust them. And who wants a hairdresser they can’t trust?



  1. How long sohuld i wait to relax my hair? or sohuld i just keep getting the Brazilian Keratin?I need help ! well to begin about a year ago i decided to cut my hair, i cut it into a layered bob it was very cute and sassy. I do have african textured hair but its more of a soft curl. Anyway, im 20 and ive been relaxing my hair since i was like 13. I had long full hair maybe under my breasts before i cut it and i always get semi permanent hair dye jet black i always used cellophane’s by Sebastian. That’s all i ever did, until i got tired of my black hair and i waited a couple months for some of the black to get out and then i dyed it with regular dye! i knew that dye plus relaxer do not mix what so ever but i felt since my hair was so healthy it wouldn’t do much damage. p.s. i already had my bob when i did this. So after i noticed u can barely see the color i wanted so i dyed it jet black with regular dye, and then about 3 weeks later i got a relaxer, dumb i know. well my hair fell out a lot . luckily i have a lot of hair and it grows mighty fast so after i got new growth i did a brazilian keratin, and it was good, couldve been better its just the brand i used wasnt the best. I have a asymmetrical short bob its cute but since my hair is thick at times it looks too poofy and i hate it so i kind of want to get a relaxer. but i wouldnt until my hair is fully better. Some people tell me to just keep getting the keratin treatment since my hair gets curly with it and i wont have to relax it anymore. So sohuld i relax it yet or not? last time i relaxed it was in august. so i dont know if i can. i heard since the dye isnt fully out my hair will keep breaking one more thing, can someone please give me ideas how to stlye my hair WET? im latina so i dont know how to stlye a lot but i see alot of african american women who do very nice hairstyles with pixies and bobs and wet hair? thank you!

  2. I have extremrely thick coasre hair, it’s like relaxer resistant hair. I was thinking about getting one of these done. SoooWhich one is safer, and Which one has better results.any other advice, tips, suggestions

  3. Definitely go for the Zene Progress product, you’ll love it.

  4. Thanks for your message. I’ve sent you an email.

  5. At last, a no nonsense explanation. Thanks for this.

  6. Hello Bella,

    I am so glad that you have this site for safe straightening discussions. Could you address the use of formaldehyde like substances in products. I have read that many can legally claim formaldehyde free, but in truth have other similar aldehyd’s or other harmful chemicals.

  7. I was also curious to know which of the recommended escova progressives you would recommend for my hair. It is very fine, porous, but has anextremely tightly afro curl pattern. This lends its self to breakage as it is so soft and fragile, but also has the challenge of being a very tight afro texture. I have used other BKT before and loved it, my only issue was my new growth texture was so different from the treated texture I actually did develop a line of demarcation (which caused breakage, bc I didn’t get a second treatment in time)

    Anyway, I don’t want to put a ton of head on my hair, as it is so very weak. I was wondering if the Zene would be better as it appears that I would only have to flat iron it once to complete the process or do you think the Tutanat would be better as the added benefits of the cysteine might be worth the extra heat for my weak weak hair?

  8. Definitely I’d recommend Zene Progress for Afro type hair Shaunie. It uses a very gentle process and actively strengthens your hair, which will prevent breakage and restore condition. The product itself is used by many women after relaxing, for exactly these reasons.
    If you have any more questions shoot me an email –

  9. Sure thing. We’re based in Brazil, where the use of Formaldehyde was actually banned back in 2007. Since then companies have developed new ways of creating Keratin treatments that are easily absorbed by your hair, without using Formaldehyde. The chemical is still used by some companies in China and the USA, where regulation is not so tight, because it’s a cheap way of straightening the hair, whereas Keratin is relatively expensive. But like I said, here in Brazil it’s been outlawed for almost 6 years.
    Hope that answers your question.

  10. To be honest with you Shaunie, there’s not really an issue with Formaldehyde in Brazil.
    It’s use was banned back in 2007 and the industry is really tightly monitored here, and companies have had to develop new, and safer formulations.

  11. I’d suggest the Tutanat treatment because it’s exceptionally gentle, which makes it perfect for hair that’s prone to breakage.
    Moving forward, you may want to consider using Keratin conditioners, alternatively Argan, Coconut or even Olive oil treatments, ast hey’ll all help strengthen your hair.

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